Definition of vegetate in English:



  • 1Live or spend a period of time in a dull, inactive, unchallenging way.

    ‘if she left him there alone, he'd sit in front of the television set and vegetate’
    • ‘John was vegetating and getting demotivated because of the lack of work opportunities.’
    • ‘‘I'm not sitting and vegetating, I need to get cracking,’ he said.’
    • ‘Not that I read any more or make music or write - I just vegetate in front of the myriad digital channels we now have.’
    • ‘We're back, after two weeks of vegetating in Bangalore, in the most beautiful cool weather.’
    • ‘So I'm going to just vegetate a bit and collapse.’
    • ‘I didn't want to sit and vegetate in front of the TV so I started the course.’
    • ‘Aunt Lou is still vegetating in Holy Light Nursing Home.’
    • ‘Joseph prefers to vegetate on a sofa and read his books.’
    • ‘Now, he was quite content to work on and draw a fairly respectable salary as an alternative to vegetating on a basic old age pension.’
    • ‘If I don't help him along, he will sit there and vegetate.’
    • ‘I'm going to vegetate tonight, and then tomorrow I shall transform myself into a super efficient research machine.’
    • ‘It was his first competitive action since Royal St George's, following a much-needed break in which he vegetated on the sofa and reacquainted himself with his Rangers season-ticket.’
    • ‘Instead I was vegetating, bringing the kids home from school, doing crosswords.’
    • ‘I thought I was faced with vegetating on benefits until pensionable age, but I'm now ready for a new future.’
    • ‘All you do is vegetate and count the milliseconds until you can go home.’
    • ‘I've drunk myself stupid at university, I've smoked, and I've vegetated.’
    • ‘If I had my druthers, I'd so be staying here for the weekend and just vegetating.’
    • ‘I work long days, and then tend to vegetate when I'm not working, so I'm always at one of extremes, activity-wise.’
    • ‘I should take a night or a day to just stop and vegetate - take a bubble bath or watch a movie - but I haven't been able to bring myself to do so yet.’
    do nothing, idle, be inactive, languish, laze, laze about, laze around, lounge, lounge about, lounge around, loll, loll about, loll around, loaf, loaf about, loaf around, slouch, slouch about, slouch around
    go to seed, degenerate, moulder, stagnate
    hang around, hang round, veg out
    hang about, mooch about, mooch around, slummock
    bum around, bat about, bat around, lollygag
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  • 2dated (of a plant or seed) grow; sprout.

    sprout, shoot up, spring up, develop, bud, burst forth, germinate, bloom
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    1. 2.1[with object]Cause plants to grow in or cover (a place)
      • ‘Although there were abundant lakes and ponds on the islands, they would have been vegetated chiefly by bulrushes.’
      • ‘But during the last 200 years, exotic annual grasses from Europe started taking over, and now only 2 percent of the state's grasslands are vegetated by native perennial grasses.’
      • ‘This area is lightly vegetated with juniper, pine, sage, and grasses.’
      • ‘To be effective, a vegetative infiltration area must be designed, constructed, vegetated, and adequately maintained.’
      • ‘The Board plans to vegetate Waterfall Gully with more native trees and plants.’
  • 3Medicine
    (of an abnormal growth) increase in size.

    • ‘When THC is exposed to UV-B while vegetating, it increases the UV-B melatonin which attaches to the THC.’
    • ‘The 8-cm-high vegetating tumor consisted of solid sheets of poorly cohesive epithelioid cells broken into clusters by strands of stroma.’


Early 17th century: from Latin vegetat- enlivened from the verb vegetare, from vegetus active from vegere be active.